The Pest Control Coach Blog

This blog is a place for pest control experts to learn and grow. We create new content each month, so check back regularly!

Get Off The Truck & Start Working On Your Business Not In It – by Gannon Mahaffay

If this image reminds you of someone, I hope it isn’t yourself. I have to call this syndrome “leave me the hell alone, I am too busy chasing my tail in a circle to stop chasing my tail in a circle.”  

This issue is kind of like “working in your business, not on it.“ Doing “the work“ is something that needs to be done and sometimes we do need to lead by example. ‘The work’ is the day-to-day activities of your business, but many pest control business owners wonder, what will happen if they don’t do the work themselves? Importantly, business owners are also fond of saying, I can’t afford to delegate the work. The simple answer to this problem is your business will not grow meaningfully with you doing the work yourself. If you are doing the day-to-day work, you are the bottleneck. Do you think Donald Trump is dealing the cards at the blackjack table? Or mowing the grass on his golf courses? Hell no! So, you...

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Under Managing Your Inspectors Is A Fatal Mistake – by Gannon Mahaffay

Many pest control business owners feel that they don’t fully understand the sales process, and for that reason, they don’t manage their inspectors very well. They say things like, “don’t just stand there, get out there and sell something.“ How often do you think this works? NEVER!!  You do not need to be a sales expert to manage the sales process.

If you don’t believe me, watch Alec Baldwin play a hard-ass sales manager in Glen Garry Glen Ross. I can guarantee you that Alec Baldwin has never managed a sales force, but you would never know that by his performance. Go to YouTube and search for “Glengarry Glen Ross speech.“ Play the longest version. It just keeps getting funnier and funnier.

Sales is like any other function of your pest control business: there are inputs and there are outputs. Those inputs and outputs are either acceptable or unacceptable. The difference between the business owners who are strong in sales and those...

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The Wheel Does Not Need To Be Reinvented Every Day – by Gannon Mahaffay

I have asked many pest control business owners this question, “Who has an operations plan?” About 10% of Them say yes. The other 90% that say no get asked more questions like… Are you a business owner? Are you operating? They tell me they don’t have an operations plan written down but said there was an operations plan in their head.

Here’s the problem with that… every business owner with no written operation plan walks to the door and says to himself, “Hey, I wonder how we should run the business today?” This process of reinventing the wheel will end up consuming all the valuable time of the organization and the business owner. In the name of flexibility and custom one-off solutions to problems, the shoot from the hip guy or gal has doomed themselves to a fire fighting existence.

So, if writing an operations plan is so powerful, why don’t 100% percent of pest control businesses have one?   Well, writing an operations...

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Why Are You Hiring Your Competitors’ Trash – by Gannon Mahaffay

If you hire experienced people, you are really hiring your competitors’ trash. I know, you don’t believe me, but I can prove it. Every pest control business owner wants to hire the perfectly qualified person for whatever job is open, which typically means the candidate has done the job before, for someone else – the competition. When you hire the so called “perfect person” from the competition, you are hiring their thrown out trash. Here’s why. Let’s say you just lost your service manager, so you are in need of his replacement. You are looking for someone who has previous service management experience. someone who has ran routes before. Somebody who understands how to properly use chemical & equipment and how to train and motivate technicians, right? It seems perfectly logical. But in reality, this is a recipe for disaster!

 

This strategy is a disaster because you’re making an incorrect assumption, that your competitor will...

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10 Ways to Make Your Marketing Better & Get More Clients – By Gannon Mahaffay

There are many ways to make your marketing better and get more clients.  I’ve compiled a short list of some of the most important areas to pay attention too. Just follow these 10 easy tips and watch your marketing and your business take off.

 

#1 Understand Your Clients

Get to know your clients and understand their needs and wants. This is the most important step to marketing, because if you don’t get this right your marketing campaigns will fail. The more accurate the information is you gather, the more effective your selling is going to be. Just because you’ve always done it that way doesn’t mean it’s what your client wants.

 

#2 Observe the Marketing Environment

In addition to knowing your client well, watch for any business opportunities that could emerge thanks to the global market we play in. This would require that you pay attention to more than just the pest control industry.

 

#3 Design Your Service Around the Client

Once...

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10 Ways To Prevent Sales Objections – by Gannon Mahaffay

Your price is too high. Whatever! I hate it when I hear this objection and It's the number one objection to buying your pest control services PERIOD. Why do pest inspectors continue to listen to this B.S.?  I just don’t understand… It can and should be prevented.

There are no new objections. You've heard them all before. Can you imagine the prospect saying, Your price is too high, and you responding, Really, I've never heard that before. (Actually, that response may be better than the one you're using.) In the pest control industry, there are around 10 reasons why the client won't buy from you right now. Some objections are just delay tactics or hesitation by the prospect to tell the inspector no. I don’t have to tell you that this is extremely FRUSTRATING!

I have a solution to your problem…  Prevent objections by overcoming them in your presentation before the prospect has a chance to speak up. Prevention is the best medicine to cure objections.

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What Is the Best Way to Extract Referrals From Your Clients – by Gannon Mahaffay

The best way to extract referrals is to make it seem like the efforts to acquire that referral is coming from the referring client. You have got to team up with your referring client for the best results.

The old way of getting referrals is to simply tell your client to have anyone they know that needs your service call you. Relying on your client to execute the referring introduction will lead you nowhere. It’s nothing more than an awkward COLD lead.

These days your clients have lots of accessible friends. These friends can be contacted via social media, email and text messaging. Snail mail is still very important as well but remember all this needs to be executed by you, sounding and feeling like its coming directly from your client.

It’s always nice to let the person who referred you make the first contact and talk about how wonderful you are. So, let me repeat myself, because it’s very important. When you set up this multi-step campaign make sure all...

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Sorry To Burst Your Bubble… But Your Business Is Not Worth What You Think Is – by Gannon Mahaffay

I bet you wont like what I’m about to say, but you need to hear it and fix this problem:  50% of pest control businesses have little or no value outside of the real estate. There are basically 3 reasons for this:

1) The business cannot effectively and/or profitably operate without the owner

2) The owners take from the business is not any better than a standard job salary

3) Most of the revenue from the business is a one-off or one-time service and there is very little contracted reoccurring revenue.

Who would pay you $500,000 for a business with very little contracted reoccurring revenue to get a $70,000 a year job? The buyer could easily get a $70,000 a year job for $0. And the buyer would not have to work 60 hours per week either.

The only way to make your business worth the money it should be worth is to get into a position where it makes a significant amount of money without your direct daily input as well as generating substantial contracted reoccurring revenue. So...

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Not Enough Meetings Cultivates Problems – by Gannon Mahaffay

Yeah that’s right I said not enough meetings will cultivate problems. All kinds of problems. Most pest control companies have what I call the “got a minute” problem. They don’t have actual meetings they have:

Hey man you got a second?

Hey man you got a minute?

I need to talk to you about something...

It’s like this for the smaller pest control companies because they generally are passing each other in  the same room before they head out for the day.  Or they have immediate access to the owner 24 seven.

They are running their business by the seat of their pants... shooting from the hip trying to put out fires instead of preventing fires. Having a productive high impact meeting weekly keeps everyone in the know and you in control.

I know what you’re thinking, not another meeting. Meetings are bad. Meetings are a joke. This thinking has been out there because most larger pest control companies are notorious for unproductive meetings that go...

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Your Company Doesn’t Suck… So Why Are You Selling Your Services So Cheap – By Gannon Mahaffay

 

I have regular conversations with pest control business owners across the world and going up against companies that are selling their services way too cheap is at the top of the complaint list.

It seems that everyone out there is trying to lower their price  to gain new clients or keep the ones they have.

Don’t do it! When you lower your price for service you are saying, “yeah we suck, and we have so little to offer to the prospect or   client that we have no other option but to lower  our prices.”  Just remember this: “If you live by price, you will die by price.”

 

Situational example:

In the early years of my pest control career I had a very productive termite inspector working for me who accounted for about half of the total sales of my business at the time. We will just call him Joe to protect the guilty.  On paper Joe was very successful, so I kind of let him do his own thing for a while because he...

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